Am I sounding old fashioned? Whatever happened to special nights with the kids? Turning off the TV and using our minds and creativity to entertain instead? It’s hard to imagine life now without an IPod in one pocket and a cell phone in the other. We seem to move from being in front of one computer screen to another without thinking twice. It has me thinking that maybe “mom” was right about holding family nights where the entertainment was paper, glue, crayons, a hook, some yarn, and more.
Have you ever wanted to get to know your child better or find out what’s really going on in his or her life? Reaching a child’s heart and mind is easily done when tapping into their creativity energy.
Set up a table to be your “Creative Getaway”. Remember it’s not about what you are creating. The moulding of play dough, meticulous stacking of popsicle sticks, choosing colours, the little dab of sparkles here and there are just side-effects to what’s really happening. This is creating a gateway to open communication as the parent and child express their own creativity; some of the best stories can be shared. Wonderful conversations occur as you are working side-by-side and you don’t even realize it at the moment that you are connecting. You’ve opened the door to communication that won’t close when you’ve completed the craft.
Remember, it’s not up to you to criticize the child’s project whatsoever.Instead, embrace their uniqueness and effort. Who cares if the child is painting a monkey pink! The child could be testing the parent’s imagination too and maybe colouring outside the lines is a form of art. This is a perfect opportunity to listen to the child’s stories and thoughts. Be sensitive to the child’s expression of individual creativity, as well as the information they are sharing.
Here’s a personal experience of mine. A child thought he was being bullied by a school teacher. The Creative Getaway approach of listening to child’s story helped remedy the situation when the child could see it from a different perspective. I asked the child what he would do if he was the teacher and he had to deal with his behaviour. What could he do to change that relationship? Explaining a point of view while at the Creative Table was neutral ground. A few months later, that same child ended up nominating this particular teacher to a TV Station for ” Teacher of the year”. Hard to believe I know, but it works.